Senators Syverson, DeWitte address skyrocketing gas prices

With gasoline prices at the pump topping well over $4 per gallon and expected to continue to climb with projections of over $5 per gallon, State Senators Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) and Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles) say Illinois legislators must act immediately to provide relief to consumers.

The legislators joined stakeholders during a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday to call on the General Assembly and the Pritzker Administration to immediately cap the state’s sales tax on motor fuel at 18 cents per gallon, which is what consumers were paying last fall before prices started to climb dramatically.

“With gas prices continuing to skyrocket, we could easily see the average price of gas to be around five dollars per gallon. We would be providing relief at the pump now, and then preventing any future sales tax increase,” said Sen. Syverson. “We must pass emergency relief legislation before we leave this spring session. The government has no business capitalizing on a crisis that is hurting families across the state.”

Under the Senators’ proposal, Illinois consumers could expect to save nearly $1 billion over the next fiscal year, or 16 cents per gallon, assuming gas prices are at $5.50 per gallon. Additionally, the measure would continue to provide adequate funding for Illinois’ infrastructure projects.

“Families are struggling with their personal budgets due to 40-year-high inflation rates. They need relief and this is one step toward allowing families to keep a little more of their own money,” Sen. DeWitte said. “We have fast-tracked legislation like this in the past. We are in crisis mode, so I am asking my colleagues to expedite this measure with the goal of having the Governor sign it in the next few days so relief can begin for taxpayers.”

“Capping Illinois’ sky-high taxes on gasoline would be welcome relief for Illinois motorists and fuel retailers as inflation and geopolitical forces continue to wreak havoc on the economy,” said Josh Sharp, CEO of Illinois Fuel and Retail Association. “We thank Senators Syverson and DeWitte for sponsoring this legislation and offering real relief for Illinois motorists.”

Illinois is one of just seven states that charge a sales tax on top of the gas tax. While both the state and federal gas taxes are a flat tax, which means the tax does not change with price of fuel, Illinois also charges a sales tax on top of the motor fuel tax.

The legislation was filed as Senate Bill 4195.

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